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Add Fizz to your Christmas Festivities with Champagne and Prosecco
Published on 07/11/2018
Six-Bottle Old World Favourites Wine Crate

The Christmas season is a time for celebration and what better way to mark any special occasion than with the finest sparkling wines whether that’s Champagne from France or Prosecco from Italy. When you send someone you really care about a Christmas gift that contains either Champagne or Prosecco it’s a wonderful way of sharing the joy and happiness at this time of year.

Right now, Regency Hampers have many such sparkling gift ideas for you to choose from with a variety of Champagne hampers packed with additional festive treats as well as a range of Prosecco presents that feature a delightful mix of savoury and sweet delights.

Why not try the Star of Light Hamper with Champagne, a double-lidded picnic basket overflowing with delightful Christmas food treats and with a truly international flavour. This generous hamper includes two great British cheeses and a traditional Christmas pudding plus Swiss chocolate truffles along with a delightful Paul Langier Brut Champagne from France and a superb bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon red wine from Chile.

If you would prefer to include a bottle of the finest Prosecco in your present, then there is the Christmas Wonderland Gift Basket with Prosecco which is a charming and useful wicker shopping basket filled to the brim with such traditional items as luxury fruit cake, chocolate, biscuits, fudge and, of course, an excellent bottle of Zonin 1821 Special Cuvée Prosecco from Italy.

How the bubbles in Champagne finally became celebrated as a good thing!

When it comes to Champagne, the French like to take credit for the traditional ‘méthode champenoise’ and yet the origins of Champagne can also be traced back to England where the technology was developed to create glass bottles of sufficient strength to withstand the build-up of pressure from the secondary fermentation that releases carbon dioxide and which gives Champagne its distinctive bubbles and sparkle.

Originally the sparkling nature of Champagne wine was seen as a fault to be avoided as this French wine region was trying to produce high quality still wine. The unwelcome build-up of carbon dioxide meant that the earlier and weaker French bottles were likely to explode under the pressure, thereby wasting a lot of good wine! However, as glass bottle technology improved and a taste for this effervescent wine began to grow, the French wine producers realised there was a significant market for this unusual bubbly sparkling wine and took steps to perfect its production and enhance its quality.

How do you make a white sparkling wine from red grapes?

One unusual aspect of Champagne is that this celebrated sparkling white wine from the Champagne region in the north east of France is nearly always made from red grapes with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier the most notable examples, while the white Chardonnay grape can also be used. (Pinot Noir is the red grape variety that is also used to make fine red Burgundy wines with their great depth of flavour and colour.)

Champagne remains white or straw-coloured because the dark red skins that would otherwise colour the wine are discarded soon after the grapes are pressed so that they do not remain in contact with the relatively clear juice during the fermentation process. There are some sparkling white wines and indeed Champagnes that are made exclusively from the white grapes of Chardonnay and these are termed Blanc de Blancs or ‘White from Whites’.

How Prosecco got its name and made a name for itself in the world.

Prosecco is named after a small town near Trieste in the north east of Italy whose original name was Puccino. The more recent name of ‘prosecco’ comes from the Slovenian word ‘prozek’ meaning ‘a path through the woods’. The production of Prosecco now stretches well beyond the village where it all began as the area strives to meet the international demand for this celebrated sparkling white Italian wine.

The main and original grape variety used to make Prosecco is called ‘Glera’ which dates back to Roman times. The Roman writer, Pliny the Elder, who died in 79 AD, wrote in his ‘Natural History’ that a certain Julia Augusta put her long life of 86 years down to the regular drinking of the wines from Puccino, the old name for the town of Prosecco, although in those far-off days this now-famous wine was still and not sparkling. While today we cannot promise longer life for regular drinkers of Prosecco, we can suggest that it adds some delightful sparkle to life and life’s special occasions!

One of the most attractive and popular aspects of Prosecco is its relatively low price compared to Champagne which means you get more bubbles for your money. The reason for this difference in price is that the secondary fermentation of Prosecco (which produces the joyous sparkle) takes place in large steel tanks rather than within the individual bottle as is the case with Champagne. The méthode champenoise, where each Champagne bottle has to be handled and treated with such care and individual attention, is a much more labour-intensive and therefore more expensive process.

Yet more sparkling Christmas present ideas containing Champagne and Prosecco.

Regency Hampers offers a wide choice of attractive Christmas gifts containing Prosecco and Champagne. Here are just two such gifts from the Christmas collection that are sure to delight and be truly appreciated by the lucky person who receives them.

The Festive Celebration Hamper with Sparkling Prosecco not only includes such delicious traditional treats as Christmas pudding, fruit & nut cake and chocolate truffles but also a bottle of sparkling Special Cuvée Prosecco from Italy plus two further bottles of fine Anakena wine from Chile: a Merlot red wine and a Sauvignon Blanc white wine that are sure to delight any lover of fine wines.

A simple yet very glamorous Christmas present with Champagne is the indulgent Champagne and Chocolates in a Wooden Box where an excellent bottle of Paul Langier Brut Champagne is teamed with a delightful selection box of Lily O’Brien’s Triple Chocolate Indulgence chocolates within an elegant wooden presentation case with Regency Hampers etched onto the sliding lid.

These attractive and generous gifts are certain to be appreciated at Christmas time with their inclusion of bottles of French Champagne and Italian Prosecco. Make sure that your friends and members of your family who deserve a special treat receive the joyful sparkle and your best wishes for the season when you send such beautiful Christmas presents of the finest sparkling white wines: Champagne and Prosecco.

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